Apple just made its biggest push in decades to boost original content on its podcast app, which has been refreshed with the recent update to iOS 17. It’s also casting a wider net for its audience by allowing users to connect through third-party apps.
Following up on Apple’s WWDC announcements in June, more than 60 original podcasts are now available to Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Calm, and Lingokids subscribers. There are more than 100 new podcasts on Apple Podcasts, and new shows will launch every week this fall, the company says.
Apple launched Apple News+ Narrated yesterday, for example, which features articles narrated by professional voice actors. There are four shows on Apple News now and another 42 on Apple Music, including shows hosted by artists like Reneé Rapp and narrative shows like Hip-Hop DNA.
Subscribers to participating apps like Calm will see their subscriptions connect automatically when they open Apple Podcasts, according to a press release. Or they can manually sign into their account on the app’s channel page on Apple Podcasts. To connect, users will need iOS 17, iPadOS 17, or macOS Sonoma.
More third-party apps will connect starting next month, Apple says. That includes Bloomberg, Curio, L’Équipe, Mamamia, Sleep Cycle, The Economist, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WELT News, and Zen with Apple Podcasts.
While Apple used to be the biggest player, it has struggled more recently to get as many podcast listeners as YouTube and Spotify. It has an opportunity to catch up now with Spotify bleeding talent that led its podcast business. This news also arrives as Google announced today that it’s killing Google Podcasts and centralizing podcasts in YouTube Music instead.